The last two weeks have seen many athletes receive penalties after CrossFit reviewed their videos as part of a new rule this season. For the first time ever, CrossFit is requesting videos from the top 40 men and women each week. On 20.1, 26 athletes were penalized. And just today, 40 athletes were penalized for their 20.3 video submissions.

The penalties have ranged from false start penalties (the majority of the penalties) to major penalties. For the major ones, athletes have almost been completely eliminated from contending for a direct qualifying spot to the CrossFit Games.

Following the penalties, some athletes have accepted responsibility for their movements while others do not agree with their penalty.

Former Games athlete and last year’s Demo Team member Alex Parker has weighed in. Parker wrote an article on her functional nutrition blog, TacticMethod.com.

Titled “KUDOS TO CROSSFIT: THE 2020 OPEN CRACKDOWN”, Parker applauds CrossFit for working to uphold movement standards. She starts by saying, “In my view, lack of strict adherence to movement standards has been an issue for years and years in CrossFit at every level of competition. It looks like CrossFit is taking a new approach to dealing with the issue and I’m happy about it!”

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In my view, lack of strict adherence to movement standards has been an issue in CrossFit for years and years at every level of competition. It looks like CrossFit is taking a new approach to dealing with the issue and I’m happy about it! So happy in fact, that I wrote a blog about it! Link in bio to full post. Here is a snippet: “Following the first workout review, seven athletes received major penalties and 19 athletes received penalties for a false start. Following the second workout review, nine 20.2 scores were adjusted for miss counted reps or failure to adhere to standards and 33 athletes received penalties for a false start. The “false start rule” is this: “This workout begins with the barbell on the floor and the athlete standing tall. After the call of “3, 2, 1 … go,” the athlete may pick up the barbell and perform 8 ground-to-overheads then 10 bar-facing burpees for 10 rounds.” or “may begin performing thrusters.” While this rule is not new to the Crossfit Open, many athletes admitted that they simply were not aware of it. The high number of false start penalties in week two is not surprising given the fact that these athletes were not penalized for 20.1 false starts until after 20.2 scores were due. Whether or not this was the intention of CrossFit, the stipulation included on the 20.1 and 20.2 Scorecards was a test to see who is actually reading and following simple rules. The number of penalties issued for false starts suggests that athletes are not. More controversial were the 20.1 major penalties that were issued. Penalties for not locking out the ground to overhead and not taking a two foot take off on the bar over burpees. — Head to the blog to read my thoughts on this controversy. — I have personally had many qualms with how CrossFit has handled adherence issues in the past. While this system isn’t perfect, this new review process, in my view, is a vast improvement and is a positive indication that CrossFit is willing to evolve and grow with the sport. As Elizabeth Fry once said; “Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal”.” — #crossfit #crossfitopen #crossfitgames @tacticnutrition

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Parker summarizes what has happened over the past two weeks with respect to the penalties and downplays those who have argued their penalty.

Parker argues, “While CrossFit’s level of disclosure and transparency over the years can be questioned, every athlete who signs up for the Open knows that it comes with its fair share of issues and that the competition is far from perfect and never has been. CrossFit’s standards of review are its standards of review. It is near impossible to actually issue a penalty that is reflective of what may be deserved.”

On the harshness of the penalties, Parker states, “Creating a deterrence for athletes to not adhere to movement standards and other workout rules will create a trickle down effect of adherence in the general population. As with many things, it has to start at the top. Even someone like me, who tries hard to strictly adhere to the rules (annoyingly so in life in general as well) is more likely to pay even more attention to my movement quality, knowing that I could get penalized.”

And Parker concludes, “I have personally had many qualms with how CrossFit has handled adherence issues in the past. While this system isn’t perfect, this new review process, in my view, is a vast improvement and is a positive indication that CrossFit is willing to evolve and grow with the sport.”

To read Parker’s full blog post, check out her website here.